The view on PR in Europe by an American who has been where you are now
I know what you are thinking. You’re supposed to be in charge of global PR or worldwide communications. The world is yours, and you need to tick all the boxes. Press releases, events, social media, content development, SEO. Worldwide.
Asia is easy. There’s no question you need local support in each major country. No sense trying to do that one on your own. Think global, act local. Find a PR agency with feet on the ground in the key places (hint: check here first). Easy sell to management.
Europe PR is a different kind of animal
But Europe? Everyone speaks English there, right? Should be able to handle that on our own. Simple enough to fire across a few press releases and get them picked up by the friendly journos who are just dying to hear about the latest and greatest U.S. companies. Google Translate as needed. Maybe buff up some social media content with funny accent marks and italic text to give your message a little je ne sais quoi. Plan a London-Paris-Munich tour next time the CEO is across the pond. Take the Brits to the pub. Wine and dine the French. Take the Germans to the beer hall. Side trip to Scandinavia if it’s summer. Spain or Italy if it’s not.
I’ve been there. And now I am here. And I know what you are thinking. Let me help you out. I ran “global” PR for a Silicon Valley software company, and I have walked in your shoes. When it comes to Europe — and I can tell you from experience from both then and now — things are a little different here.
Ya, sure, you’re thinking. There’s a little language thing in a few places, and they use different money there, but technology is technology and we all speak the same language in that world.
Well, yes … kind of.
But if Europe is important to you — and why shouldn’t it be?: it’s a bigger economy than all of the U.S. — you might want to think about some local support over here. Local as in people who have long-standing relationships with the key influencers, know the most important events and speak the language — literally. Local as in understanding why your technology may be important in Germany, interesting in France, but is yesterday’s news in England. Local as in understanding that Europe is not a single country and is in many ways more complicated than doing business anywhere else in the world.
So how to run PR in Europe?
The good news is that we are here for you. I hung out in Silicon Valley for more years than I care to admit and know how Americans think and act — I am guilty of the same. But having spent the last five years in Europe and now running the European operations for a global PR agency, I have “Europeanized” my way of thinking. You still get the “no-nonsense-this-smells-like-BS” counsel you’d expect from any U.S. PR agency worth their salt. But we’ll give it a European flair. And more importantly, a flavor that is digestible to the local audiences that are important to your business.
We customize your content, your message, your story to a European audience. That’s more than just translating press releases — it’s helping build the relationships and foundations you need to do business here. And making sure you stay top of mind with customers, partners and the press.
We’ve got folks on the ground in the UK, Germany and France. We know most of the other countries pretty well too, with partners and clients in places like, Ireland, Israel and Spain. We go to the “must-go” events like CeBIT and Mobile World Congress. We read the key publications, websites and blogs. Best of well we’re seamlessly plugged into the global Hoffman Agency network, meaning we can take what we do here and easily transform it into a global program.
So drop me a line about how to raise your game in Europe. I am happy to talk, — or parler, habla or sprechen — about how we can help. Let’s chat — American to American.